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Welcome To Berkeley Math Circle
The Berkeley Math Circle (BMC) is a weekly program for over 500 San Francisco Bay Area elementary, middle and high school students. The weekly sessions are held on Tuesdays evenings at the UC Berkeley campus. The program is jointly sponsored by the:
  • UC Berkeley Mathematics Department
  • UC Berkeley Statistics Department
  • UC Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department
  • Mathematical Science and Research Institute (MSRI)
  • Simons Institute for Theory of Computing
  • Vanguard Charitable, and
  • Parents' Contribution
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Emulating famous Eastern European models, the program aims at drawing kids to mathematics, preparing them for mathematical contests, introducing them to the wonders of beautiful mathematical theories, and encouraging them to undertake future careers linked with mathematics, whether as mathematicians, mathematics educators, economists, or business entrepeneurs. Read more about the BMC.

Application to BMC-Upper for Spring 2016 is now open!

Continuing students in Berkeley Math Circle

All students who attended BMC-Upper level in Fall 2015 only need to submit a check for $170 made out to "United Math Circles Foundation" by Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 in order to re-enroll for Spring 2016. Students who do not submit a check by then will not be enrolled in BMC-Upper in Spring 2016 and their spots will be released to incoming new students.

New Students: Applying to Berkeley Math Circle-Upper

The following application is for NEW students applying to BMC-Upper (grades 5-12) only for spring 2016. (New students are those who were not registered at BMC-Upper in fall 2015.). BMC applications have to arrive by mail or person no later than Tuesday, December 8th, 2015. Please note that there will only be a few spots open for new students in Spring 2016, and decisions will be based on merit.

Download, print and fill the following form. The form includes a thorough instruction on applying for the BMC.

  1. Download the application form:
    Application Form for New Students applying to BMC-Upper Spring 2015

  2. Write a check of $170 made out to "United Math Circles Foundation".Include on the memo line: "BMC-[Level], S'16, [First Name][Last Name]" - e.g. "BMC-Intermediate I, S'16, John Doe"

  3. Mail the Application, required Transcript, and Payment to us - Our address is:

    Berkeley Math Circle
    Attn: Zvezdelina Stankova
    Department of Mathematics
    Room 970, Evans Hall
    University of California at Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-3840
  4. Or bring the application in person to Evans 713 during the math circle by December 8.: All applications must arrive BY Tuesday, December 8th, 2015. Decisions will be made within a few days after that, so no late applications will be accepted.

All inquiries regarding BMC-Elementary must be directed at Laura Givental at BMC.Elementary@gmail.com. Note that BMC-Upper and BMC-Elementary have separate admissions processes and separate teams reviewing the applications.

Application to BMC-Upper for Fall 2015 is closed.

All levels for BMC-Upper are now full.

Berkeley Math Circle for Fall 2015

The Berkeley Math Circle (BMC) for Fall 2015 started on Tuesday, September 1st.

BMC is divided into two divisions: BMC-Upper (grades 5th - 12th) and BMC-Elementary (grades 1st - 4th).


  • BMC Beginners Level I meets on Tuesdays from 5:00 to 6:20 PM at 340 Evans.
  • BMC Beginners Level II meets on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:00 PM at 340 Evans.
  • BMC Intermediate Level I meets on Tuesdays from 6:10 to 7:55 PM at 332 Evans.
  • BMC Intermediate Level II meets on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at 740 Evans.
  • BMC Advanced meets on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at 736 Evans.

For questions regarding BMC-Upper, please contact BMC Assistant Nikolay Grantcharov at nikolayg (at) berkeley (dot) com

Any questions regarding BMC-Elementary (grades 1-4), please contact Laura Givental at bmc.elementary (at) gmail (dot) com.


Check the BMC-Elementary page for times, rooms and dates on when BMC Elementary I (grades 1 and 2) and BMC Elementary II (grades 3 and 4) meet for Fall 2015.

For questions regarding BMC-Elementary, please contact BMC-Elementary director Laura Givental at bmc.elementary (at) gmail (dot) com


BMC Student Laura Pierson USAJMO Winner!

Circler Laura Pierson won the USAJMO in 2015! Laura, then in 10th grade, scored among the top 12 of all USAJMO test takers. Previously, Laura Pierson won a silver medal at the European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO). The 2013 EGMO was held at Luxembourg city, where 87 participants from 22 countries participated. A 7th grader at the time, Laura was the youngest member of the USA team. Congratulations!

Laura also actively participates and helps out with the Berkeley Math Circle. Laura gave her first lecture to the Advanced group on September 22, 2015 on the topic “Incompleteness and Provability.” Additionally, Laura is a local grader and one of the coordinators for the BMC Monthly Contests. Thank you Laura!

BMC Alumnus Evan Chen is a gold medalist at the International Math Olympiad!

Update: Evan won a gold medal in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) over the summer of 2014! He represented the Taiwanese team (which came in 3rd). Evan actually came in second at the USAMO earlier that year, the final round of the USA Olympiad. Evan finished his freshman year of college at Harvard and is now starting his sophomore year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Evan will be in contact with the BMC through his Monthly Contest problems. Congratulations and good luck in college, Evan!

Berkeley Math Circle student Evan Chen, also the coordinator for the Monthly Contest at BMC for the past three years, solved all six problems at USAMO (the last round of the USA Math Olympiad). He was placed #2 in the USA with 41 points and was among the top 3 winners awarded with Akami Foundation Scholarship! Even more astonishingly, he qualified at the same time on the Taiwanese team and participated in the International Mathematical Olympiad this summer in Cape Town, South Africa, from July 3-13 , 2014.

Evan Chen graduated from lrvington High School in Fremont, CA, this year and will attend Harvard College in the fall. Evan earned a Gold medal in the 2013 Asian-Pacific Math Olympiad, and will be participating on the Taiwan team at the 2014 lnternational Mathematical Olympiad (lMO). He enjoys programming, typesetting documents in LaTeX, and playing StarCraft on the nights before major contests. Evan applies his skill as a competitor in mathematical competitions to writing mathematical problems. Evan thanks his teachers, Miss Chiu and Mrs. Rothfuss, for their continual support and Dr. Zvezda Stankova, of the Berkeley Math Circle, for her invaluable mentorship. lt is noteworthy that Evan took this USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) in Taiwan from 12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. while in Taiwan.

Espen writes a poem!

BMC student Espen has written a beautiful poem called "My True Number". We wanted to share as it is quite appropriate for the Berkeley Math Circle! Please do not take out the poem without copyright.

My True Number
By Espen Slettnes, Jan 6th, 2014

My shadow and I stood in a complex plane.
"What value are you?" I winked and asked.
"3435i", said he, and he asked me mine.
I said I was 33+44+33+55.
"That's what I am, but times i"he replied.
Our eyes met and danced
as we added and multiplied and exponentiated and tertiated
until we reached the magnitude of beauty,
in the silence of ∞, where I saw my true self.
I spoke no words but the simple language of the universe.
I rose and vaporized into numbers,
integrated with the Universe,
and we became 1.


  • The complex plane is a way to represent all complex numbers in 2 dimensions. A complex number is made up of a real and imaginary part.
  • i is the imaginary unit, defined as √ -1 
  • Tertiation is repeated exponentiation, which is repeated multiplication, which is repeated addition.
  • ∞ means infinity - larger than any number
  • (33+44+33+55) = 3435 (each digit raised to its own power)

Copyright © 2014 Espen Slettnes. All rights reserved.

Berkeley Math Circle featured on "The Monthly"!

The Berkeley Math Circle has been featured "The Monthly," East Bay's Premier Magazine of Culture and Commerce, titled "Proving Their Passion" by Sarah Weld. Check out the Berkeley Math Circle on the news here!

Nico Brown of the Berkeley Math Circle wins first place at the Berkeley Mini-Math Tournament!

Nico Brown wins 1st place at BmMT 2013.         Nico Brown and Vincent Pisani at BmMT 2013.

BMC's own Nico Brown won the Berkeley mini Math Tournament (BmMT), the middle school student variant to the BMT for high school students, this past weekend.

Nico's score in the Individual round placed him into the top six students who entered the final Countdown elimination round, a series of timed questions... and he emerged the overall champion!

He wouldn't have got there without Team BMC coached by Intermediate Circle parent Tor Slettnes--Vincent Pisani, Arav Karighattam, Nate Fish, Espen Slettnes, and Nico--so congratulations to all!

BMC Student Evan Chen wins Gold Medal in the Asian Pacific Mathematical Olympiad 2013!

BMC Student Evan Chen participated at the Asian Pacific Mathematical Olympiad 2013 as part of the Team Selection Tests. USA, Korea, and Russia tied for the 1st place. Evan Chen was placed as USA #1 and received the gold medal. In fact, all USA members received perfect scores, however, Evan Chen won the tie-breaker!

Congratulations Evan!

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